The long, unjust imprisonment of PFLP general secretary Ahmad Sa’adat

Ahmad Sa’adat: A Prisoner of Conscience

By Stephen Lendman

Ahmad Sa’adat is  the 1967-founded Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine’s (PFLP) General Secretary, one of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners, sentenced in 2002 to 30 years in prison “for a range of ‘security-related’ political offenses,’ ” including his prominence in a prohibited organization.

A 1993 document stated that: “The strategic aim of the PFLP’s struggle alongside the other forces of the Palestinian revolution is to liberate Palestine from Zionist colonial occupation. The PFLP aims for the establishment of a democratic state on the entire Palestinian land, with its capital in Jerusalem. This state would guarantee legal rights and equality of opportunity to all citizens, without discrimination on the grounds of religion, sex, belief or color. It would oppose Zionism and imperialism and be oriented towards democratic unity with other Arab countries.”

“Achieving this aim presupposes a radical solution for the Palestinian national cause and readiness to wage a prolonged, complicated and difficult struggle (against Zionism), a racist, aggressive, expansionist, settler-colonial entity which aims at elimination of our people.” Great sacrifices are needed to prevent it.

Sa’adat’s Background

Born in 1953 in Deir Tarif village near Ramallah in the West Bank, the son of dispossessed refugees, he became an activist after the 1967 Six Day War. In 2001, he was elected PFLP General Secretary, replacing Abu Ali Mustafa, assassinated by Israel on August 27 that year.

In February 1969, Israel first arrested him for PFLP activities, detaining for three months – then for 28 months in 1970, 10 months in 1973, and 45 days in 1975. That year, he graduated from United Nations WRA’s Ramallah Teaching Training College, specializing in math. In 1976, he was arrested again and held four years. In April 1981, he was elected to PLFP’s Central Committee. In 1989, he was arrested and detained nine months, again in 1992 for 13 months, then released but declared a “wanted person,” subject to re-arrest without cause. Continue reading